Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What Is This Thing Called Failure?

Once it was a lathered mutt
I saw in the window of a train,
defending his equipment hut,
choking on his rusty chain.
I was glad to be going places,
certain I could make it rain.

Then I saw it in the faces
of the stained old birds in parks--
you know the ones I mean--the cases,
wanderers who found the mark,
turned away in disbelief.
I saw, but the auspices were dark.

I saw it drop its scrim on grief,
add the cruel plasm of despair
to the spent tenure of handkerchiefs.
I saw it hover in the air
over schoolyards, eyeing its clutch.
I saw it damned near everywhere.

But lately? Lately not so much.
I’m pushing Pullmans late and soon,
going places, deals and such:
Cedar Falls tomorrow noon.
And nothing’s in my window but
a monkey grinning at the moon.


Robert Zimmerman said...

She knows there's no success like failure.
And that failure's no success at all.

pundy said...

Another good one. I wonder though would it scan better in that first line with "a lathered mutt"?

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Lovely poem, Carver - as usual.

John said...

Point taken, Bob. Is it rolling?

Yes, it would, Bill. Most of them do, in fact, scan better without typos. Thanks once again...

Thank you, Abs. You're a treasure.

pundy said...

I thought it was a typo. No it's just brilliant

Gee' you're good. Really good.